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To My Fiancé, Thank You For Helping Me Conquer My Illness

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Dear Fiancé,

Since I was 15 years old, you held my hand, kissed me, told me you loved me and made me smile everyday. I know this is not how you pictured the last five years to be. Believe me, it was nothing remotely close to how I pictured it.

I had hopes and dreams of graduating college and performing, dancing, beginning a career in the arts, and living my life to the fullest. I envisioned taking vacations with you every year, getting married, getting a house of our own and then one day a puppy. But instead we took a much different path because of my illness. Prior to my illness, we had conquered the curveballs life threw at us together: from being apart while you were in the Navy, to not seeing each other while we both attended separate colleges. But my illness took the biggest toll on our lives for over the last five years.

After I graduated from college, when you got down on one knee and asked me to be your wife I said, “Yes, there is nothing I want more than to spend the rest of my life with you.” I meant every single word.

At the time, I did not know we’d be sacrificing so much over the upcoming years, due to my illness – including many of my hopes and dreams for us. Nonetheless, I meant those words with all my heart. I wanted to spend the rest of my life with you by my side then, and I want to now more than anything, regardless of what life throws our way. I could not have conquered this illness any other way. You comforted me when I found myself crying with no explanation. You consoled me when I felt guilty because of the toll my illness took on our relationship. You accepted me staying in the hotel room as we tried to take a small trip when I was in such pain that I felt I couldn’t stand up.

I felt worthless, I felt helpless, and I felt hopeless that this would ever end. I found it hard to believe I would ever find treatment or a solution that would allow me to live my life again. I felt like  a horrible fiancé. I saw other people living their lives, getting married, having children, and here I was curled up on the couch, in pain, barely able to walk up the steps. I barely had any energy to do anything. All the things I wanted to do with you were are so far out of reach for so long. My life consisted of doctor’s appointments, blood tests, procedures, fighting with doctors to help me and arguing with insurance companies.

You listened to me to apologize hundreds of times for not being able to go out or do so many of the things we used to do. You were around me everyday when I was miserable and in pain. You spent hours upon hours researching conditions, searching to find any possible diagnosis that fit my condition. You told me about positive advances with a surgery I thought I was going to need, which would change my life forever – to have my colon removed when it seemed possible I would have to take that route and live the rest of my life hooked up to a bag. You tried to encourage me to believe this would all end one day.

You stayed by my side and did not turn me away.

Although we are young, it feels like I have endured the number of challenges and medical problems of a person who is much older than their mid-20s. We may be just beginning our marriage, but we began our life together 12 years ago. It is not fair that my condition robbed of so many things over the last five years. I feel guilty that I couldn’t do more. I feel guilty that I couldn’t work a full-time job and provide a strong source of income. It sickens me that all of my money went to medical expenses over those years. The thousands of dollars I sunk into medical bills could’ve been money we saved to put toward a house or our wedding. But instead, I was close to declaring bankruptcy to get the medical attention I needed.

I felt that our relationship was depleted and disrupted by illness. It is not fair and it is not under your control or my control. Nonetheless, you stayed by my side every step of the way – the good, bad, the happy and the ugly. No one can change the past. I know together we will create our future, together.

I cannot wait to share the future with you and all that it has to hold for us. I love you with all my heart and I thank you for being my biggest support through the hardest times.

I love you with all my heart,
Your Fiancée

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Thinkstock Image By: Tijana87

Originally published: July 24, 2017
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